The waves- Darkness was upon us, the last beams of light shone down the street as the giant golden orb settled into the ocean, only to shine elsewhere. The waves crashed on the shoreline, each sounding different to the next. The last few beachcombers were starting to walk up the sand, mottled grey-blue in the dying light, and I thought to myself – “lucky’. My wheels squelched on the few grains of grit that lay on the path. “l love this part of the day’, I thought. It meant I could Just be me, who I was inside this shell. It brought back memories. Good memories.

I was Just starting to excel, starting to win few comps here and there, and I loved every bit of it. That feeling you got when you jumped in, the water displaced around the fiberglass board, the cool refreshing splash hitting my face then slowly seeping into my wetsuit, adrenalin flowed through my veins. One after the other wave after wave, I sat Just behind the break, waiting for that perfect wave, sometimes time would warp into days, other times the adrenaline accelerated my anticipation into virtual seconds. Either way I always enjoyed myself, being out there alone.

But this time felt different, something not right… I Dunn, I Just put the thought in the jack of my head and tried to enjoy myself. A few good waves came and went, yet my board only cruised down a solitary breaker – the customary emptiness never came. My head was normally clear when I surfed, thoughts replaced by rushing seawater, doubts erased by coarse sand. But it wasn’t like that. Something was troubling me, but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. The wave had finally run out, I floated off the back and completed the long, strenuous paddle back out behind the breakers.

An eerie calm overtook the ocean – the waves disappeared into the depths taking their roars of complaint to the seafloor. No little 1 or 2 footers, I mean flat as a board. My connection with the water felt momentarily severed, loose end hanging lifeless in the still water. The voice in my head to go and head in for an early tea, but I convinced myself to stay Just one more wave, hoping to lose myself in the moment once more. That would be the last wave I would ever surf. The first of many shivers shook my insides and rippled to my extremities. Myself remained floating on the vast expanse like a spec on the horizon, I was alone.

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Finally a set came through; I had found the one, the race had started – my hands propelled e forwards, ever faster, my breathing taking a ragged edge. I wanted that wave and I was going to get on it one way or another. Muscle memory snapped me into a fluid crouch, the feeling was back, adrenalin flooded my body; the anticipation of this long awaited wave was tantalizing. Me out, launched weightless across the expanse, minute rainbows playing through the spray arcing around my flight. The wave threw me under; I was being tossed around like a raggedly, tumbling in the water fighting for a breath. The force smashed me head first onto a sand bank.

CRACK! I went numb. I was under water for what felt like hours was really no more than 30 seconds before a fellow beachcomber had made the dash to save me. The feeling under water was horrific, hearing the bubbles around my head, my vision impaired. I threw everything I had into getting to the surface, only to get nowhere; I could not move my arms and legs. I had accepted death; I went into a euphoric state, my mind wandered freely. He finally had me on the beach and yelled to the other guys “call an mambo, he is hurt real bad”! He tried talking to me, no response, he was squeezing me, nothing, I could not feel a thing.

He asked me to wiggle my toes. Nothing. By now a crowd was starting to form around me I heard people asking if I was dead, I Just wanted to speak, but nothing. I sit here as the sun sets into the horizon, looking at the waves, hearing the crashing of every one, tasting the thick salt in the air. I was alone again, but this time it is different, this time I am at peace, my mind runs free even though my body cannot, but that k because I have pushed through, with the help of my family, I could not have done it alone. Being alone on the other hand has taught me to cherish life, to live life as it comes and be grateful for others.


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